Oldham Roughyeds coach Tony Benson must cope without Marcus St Hilaire (hamstring), Lucas Onyango (suspended) and John Gillam (fractured eye socket) for Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One fixture against Gateshead Thunder.
Gillam sees a specialist on March 14 while Onyango returns next week, but all three are definitely missing from Sunday’s match.
Benson said: “You cannot take Gateshead lightly. You never know what’s going to turn up and they can be a very good side.
“We’re not exactly on our game at the moment, so it’s going to need some patience and concentration from our blokes.”
Thunder coach Richard Pell is in talks with a half-back in a bid to bolster his attacking options.
Pell said: “Steve Coutts did a good job for us last week, and we’ve got Scott Woods available for Oldham as well, but we’re trying to get another half-back – we’re just speaking to his agent at the moment – and if we can get him we’ll be a lot stronger.”
On Thunder’s 2011 campaign so far, Pell reflected: “We’ve had some good results and some bad results.
“The games against Sheffield and Milford were highs, but we suffered real lows against Workington and Swinton. I didn’t expect us to be that low, but it’s gone now and we have moved forward.
“As a group of 17 players and the coaching staff, there’s only ourselves that can change things.
“Oldham have been in the last four grand finals, and they’ll be up there again this year, but that’s our league. We’re in it, so let’s get on with it.”